4 TIPS TO FIGHT DEPRESSION
Hello everyone and Welcome to another FACTUAL FRIDAY. At this time of year, I feel it’s important to discuss something that’s known as the POST-HOLIDAY BLUES.
January is a month in which many of us feel let down – a bit blue – and even a little depressed. This is a very common phenomenon and here are the reasons why.
First, the holidays clearly are over. The festivities and fun are finished. The planning is done. The anticipation and excitement of the season have come to an end. We probably aren’t rushing around as much and we don’t have as many friends and family to entertain.
As a result, our adrenaline is no longer pumping at maximum speed. Our bodies begin to enter a state of rest and recovery. And, this state is far less exciting than the holiday hoopla. So, by comparison it can make us feel let down, dreary and in the dumps.
Second, let’s remember that in many parts of the world January is a rather cold, gloomy and dark month anyway. Winter – all by itself – can produce feelings of depression, emotional apathy and physical sluggishness.
Known as SAD or SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER, this too is a very common condition that can impact our morale, our outlook and our energy in a negative way. It’s clinically recognized as a RECURRENT DEPRESSION that usually – but not always – occurs as the days grow shorter and colder during the winter months and our exposure to daylight is at a minimum.
And, of course, those of us who are living with a debilitating disease or cancer often suffer from depression no matter what time of year it is. This is simply a typical by-product of illness and treatment that affects thousands of individuals on a daily basis.
So, if this sounds familiar and you find yourself in one or more of these categories, it’s time to do something about it. Accordingly, let’s review and discuss these 4 Great Ways to get Your Feet Back on the Ground and give your Blues the Boot.
- PLAN FUN ACTIVITIES. We may not have the excitement of the holidays in our life right now – but, we can add a little of our own excitement. At least, we can add a little pleasure. Start planning a few activities that you enjoy. Have friends over for dinner. Schedule a group movie night. Get tickets to a show or sporting event. Read some of the books on your list. Plan a weekend out of town. Choose activities that interest you and fit into your budget. Just plan something that sounds like fun — something you’ll enjoy and look forward to.
- EXERCISE. Mental wellbeing and Physical wellbeing are joined at the hip. And, any type of depression can be eased with a little fresh air. It’s vital to get up and move every day. Take a short walk. Vacuum the house. Rake some leaves. Do a few stretches. Just move! Exercise does not have to be strenuous or long to be effective. Forget full days of body-building or running marathons. Just try to move for five minutes a day. Then ten. Then work your way up from there. You’ll be amazed how physical movement can clear your mind, increase your energy and boost your mood!
- EXPRESS YOURSELF. One of the classic symptoms of depression is when our sense of fun, our playfulness or our creativity is blocked. We need to get those juices flowing again. So, along with exercising our body, we need to exercise our imagination. Take time to play – with a friend or your pet. Try painting or drawing. Play a musical instrument or dance. Sing! Write a poem. Listen to music – or compose music. And, make sure you LAUGH! Laughter is a wonderful form of self-expression. It promotes all our “feel good” chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, both of which lighten our mood and improve our outlook. So, consider a funny movie marathon – or conduct an online search for funny quotes and stories.
- LET THERE BE LIGHT. Light makes us feel good. It’s welcoming. It’s visually pleasing. After all, what would you rather come home to? A house that’s completely cold and dark? Or a house that has a few warm lights shining through the windows and on the front porch? Be it artificial light or natural light, both can make us feel good and positive. In small doses, a little sunshine every day helps the skin produce vitamin D, which in turn improves the immune system. It also decreases our risk of developing arthritis, high blood pressure and even some cancers. And, if you’re experiencing a little Post Holiday Blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder, you might want to check with your doctor about the benefits of Light Box Therapy. Light – in every form — is a wonderful way to fight depression and bask in emotional wellbeing.
So, here we have 4 Great Ways to help you overcome the all-too-common Post-Holiday Winter Blues and Depression. Focus on the small things in your life that bring you pleasure. Have fun. Move more. Laugh. And, bring in the light.
And, next week we’ll discuss some of the BEST FOODS WE CAN EAT to help reduce the lingering Blues and Depression that so many of us may be feeling.
Thanks so much for joining me everyone. Until next time, stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .